The internet reached another notable milestone this week when I joined Twitter. The move was welcomed by industry experts who believe a rubicon has been crossed.
“When someone like that joins up, we call that a tipping point.” according to a statement released by Twitter’s founder – Barry Twitter.
It’s official. It’s all done on computers nowadays. In the end it was a bespectacled, kindly looking man with a saintly demeanour who inspired me to finally become part of the Twitter phenomenon. Dan Boyle His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, leader of Tibetan Buddhism arrived on the microblogging site within the past week.
The world is divided into two types of people. Those who can’t understand why anyone would be remotely interested in reading self-obsessed people describing the minutiae of their lives to all and sundry. And those who are on Twitter. Having just joined the site, I’m torn between the two camps. THe two diametrically opposed halves of my psyche – Colm and WhodyaTinkY’AreLike? – are locked in discussion.
WhodyaTinkY’AreLike? is a Cork person’s internal Regulator designed to clamp down on any evidence of ‘notions’ or ‘being in love with yourself’. (It’s a bit like the Financial Regulator except effective.)
Here’s an excerpt from discussions so far:
– WhodyaTinkYeAreLike: What’s that you’re doing on the computer? On the Internet is it? Is that the way?
– Colm: I’m tweeting.
– W: I tawt I taw you do something alright. Where’s the puddy cat? (Laughs to himself)
– C: Hilarious (under his breath)Twoole. No, I’m on Twitter.
– W: Twit-ter? Good place for you so, (laughs again, this time the laugh dissolving into a bronchial cough)
– C: No – Twitter is a micro-blogging site on the Internet where you leave messages for anyone who is interested in where you are or what you think.
– W: Microblogging? What’s that?
– C: You can write something and put it up on the Internet but you can only write short messages. You’re limited to 140 characters.
– W: Limited to 140 Characters? That’s like a small crowd in the Welcome Inn
– C: No characters as in letters, things you can type. Not characters as in auld lads with quivery smiles, snuff and a weight of drink on them. You can only write 140 letters in your messages.
– W: So what have you (deliberately mispronouncing it) twatted so far?
– C: It’s tweeted actually. Oh, you know, this and that.
– W Like what exactly
– C: Well… nothing…. I haven’t tweeted anything because I can’t think of anything to say.
– W: Rather like the premise for this article.
– C: Uncomfortably close to the bone
– W: And what’s happened to Facebook – is that gone by the wayside?
– C: No. I’m still on Facebook. I’ll use it to tell people to follow me on Twitter.
– W: And when they get to Twitter?
– C: I’ll put a message up reminding them to check out my Facebook site.
And there’s the rub. For shmoes like me, there is nothing to say. I spent an hour on Tuesday night trying to think of something hilarious and 140-charactered for my 4 followers. In the end I rather limply asked them to have a read of my old Cork News articles on www.colmoregan.com. By the way did you know that you can read my old……
For some this is not a problem. Life throws up so little dramas that Twitter is the best way to dash off a message. Like, for example, if you’re in a coalition government that’s on the rocks, only Twitter can afford you that immediacy of response when the average time between bizarre scandals is now four hours and seventeen minutes. Glancing at my crystal ball, here’s a selection of Dan Boyle’s tweets from next week:
danboyle Can’t believe that just happened. Dermot Ahern put porridge in John Gormley’s shoes. This is a serious breach of trust.
10:30AM March 1st
danboyle There’s no way I’ve any confidence in Dermot Ahern
10:40AM: March 1st
danboyle What!!! We voted confidence in Dermot Ahern?!! This is ridiculous!!
12:40PM: March 1st
danboyle . This is going to go pear-shaped. Willie O’Dea is back in Cabinet. As Minister for the Environment!!! He texts me to say he’s going to cut down ‘every fecking tree in the country.’
10:00AM March 2nd
danboyle That’s it!!! I’m out of here. The Green TDs have voted to buy Chernobyl !!! Eamonn Ryan says they were bounced into it in a surprise vote.
10:00AM March 3rd
Meanwhile my internal dialogue is still raging on the subject
WhodyaTinkYeAreLike: Have you told your mother about Twitter?
C: She knows all about it already.
W: What does she make of it?
C: She says finds it easier to understand the mystery of the Blessed Trinity than Twitter
W: Amen to that.